August 14, 2019

Note-Taking is Vital

Tracking information is vital for interpreters, particularly when interpreting consecutively. In this recent article by Athena Matilsky at the NAJIT Observer discusses how to get the most from your note taking during interpreting sessions, but I’m particularly struck by her emphasis on “less is more” when it comes to note taking. Essentially, the goal when taking notes is not to write down as much as possible, but rather to leave a trail for your mind to follow as you interpret what was said. This idea has far-reaching applications beyond just interpreting, I know, from student lectures to business meetings — but in the context of an interpreting session, it’s important to remember that your main skill is not how much/how quickly you can write, but how well you can listen.

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